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refurbing 1970's Ace pioneer , help
Posted: 4 November 2016 9:54 PM
Subject: refurbing 1970's Ace pioneer , help
Just joined

Posts: 3

Hi I acquired an old Ace Pioneer, well that's what is on the caravan. I have a plate on the towing bracket but cannot glean any information to exact ageor anything from the data.
It was in a sorry state on the inside due to a leak. I have recovered the seats and generally made it nice inside. I am in the process of replacing plastic window seals. i thought this was the cause of the leak but have now had to look to the roof and have scraped out old rubber and put waterproof silicone on gap, Got to wait to see if this works.
I have never owned let alone towed a caravan before so hope people on this site will help me along the way.
My first query is about the windows. these are single glazed metal framed with non safety glass. I was wondering what I could use to make these a bit safer so they won't smash if chipped and go everywhere. I have seen various clear films to go onto them but not sure which one will work best if indeed at all.
Thanks Dee
Posted: 5 November 2016 12:42 PM
Subject: RE: refurbing 1970's Ace pioneer , help
Forum master

Posts: 2012
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Good luck with what you are doing. However, be very careful it does not turn into a bottomless pit swallowing money with no real return. It is too easy to get carried away with enthusiasm.

The main issue is making sure it is watertight and although you have done some re sealing, you really need to explore the van inch by inch to ensure there are no horrors lurking behind walls. Get a damp test done and bluntly if this does turn up areas of bad damp, I suggest quitting while you are ahead. The windows have survived for many decades and are not likely to smash unless you really hit something bad. Remember they will form condensation as there is no 'double glazing' to stop this. The rubber seals can be replaced relatively easily.

The other thing to check is the chassis for rust and damage, again this could be expensive to replace. Check the tow hitch as with that age it may be a 2inch socket, not the common 50 mm one. If so you need a different tow ball to tow it safely. Brakes etc will no doubt need servcicing, so check what name is on the chassis somewhere in order to sorce parts. It may be a Peak model or a B&B one as these were common on British vans of this age.

The equipment will also probably need servicing at least, and if you are not qualified to do this, then a professional will need to be called in, at a cost of course.

Bluntly, I think you need to be realsistic about this as it is not likely to be cheap, and you may be wiser putting your cash elsewhere.
Posted: 13 November 2016 9:47 PM
Subject: RE: refurbing 1970's Ace pioneer , help
Just joined

Posts: 3

Thank you for your reply, and although not what I wanedt hear, I know you are talking sense. I am still on the hunt for the leak but may have to put cover over it for a while. I have a couple of people who are helping me. They have replaced electrics and chassis ok. the good thing is I got the van " free " with a camping fridge I wanted for my trailer tent. The person I got it from had been using it up until three years ago but then left it uncovered and unchecked with a window open, although not the one with damp.
I will endeavour to try and get it usable but I know there are enthusiasts out there who may take off my hands.
Posted: 14 November 2016 7:55 PM
Subject: RE: refurbing 1970's Ace pioneer , help
Lives on the forums

Posts: 560
Location: Cornwall Adria 577SC 2011

Don't use silicone to effect the repairs - use a decent PU sealant like sikaflex or puraflex.

Most silicone products don't have great adhesion properties, and are also corrosive to aluminium!

If the leaks are from the seams [most likely] it may pay you to re-bed all the aluminium profiles......
Posted: 4 January 2017 9:26 PM
Subject: RE: refurbing 1970's Ace pioneer , help
Just joined

Posts: 3

Thank you for your reply. My Percy hopefully safely protected from the rain as has a cover on for now. I am now wishing the months away til the warmer weather. I will look at the aluminium and use a different repair product. I will soon get into the swing of things , as was very enthusiastic for weeks until my leak wouldn't go away
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